The number of recorded catalytic converter thefts is soaring across the UK, and hybrid models are particularly attractive to thieves…
Catalytic Converter Thefts Soar
Over 13,000 catalytic converters were stolen last year in England and Wales – six times the figure recorded in 2018. The components contain valuable palladium, rhodium and and platinum that prove tantalising for criminals.
Assistant Chief Constable Jenny Sims, car crime lead for the NPCC, stressed that forces were working to crack down on gangs. She said, “police forces across the country are involved in planning and undertaking intelligence-led operations, at both the regional and national level, to stop converters from being stolen, as we recognise the devastating impact these crimes can have upon the lives of victims”.
But hybrid cars are at particular risk due to the fact that their converters are less corroded then those found on diesel or petrol cars. Clive Wain, head of police liaison at stolen vehicle recovery expert Tracker, explained “plug-in and self-charging hybrid vehicles are a highly desirable target for thieves as their catalytic converters are less corroded than those in petrol and diesel vehicles which rely on them more”. He suggested that motorists could protect their vehicles by installing alarms that activate when titled or lifted. In addition, he advised that drivers install tracking devices; to ensure that their vehicles can be recovered if they’re stolen outright.
What Do The Converters Do?
In layman’s terms, catalytic converters convert harmful emissions into less harmful ones. For instance, they may convert carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide or even water. In an age of increasingly stringent emissions regulations, more and more car manufacturers depend on them to dodge hefty fines. In theory, most hybrid cars will occasionally be driven on electric power; meaning their converters aren’t used as intensively. This is why they’re so prized by criminals and thieves – they represent their best bet at getting their hands on untarnished rare metals.
Due to the rise in converter thefts, especially in London, some motorists are taking drastic action. A number of garages are now installing wire mesh guards that make it difficult for thieves to remove a car’s converter. Prices vary depending on the quality, but most of the guards can be installed in a couple of hours. If you live in a crime hotspot, it might be worth making the investment…
A Third Of British Drivers Are ‘Optimistic’ About Going Electric – https://autoserveclub.co.uk/blog/a-third-of-british-drivers-are-optimistic-about-going-electric/
Plug-In Hybrids Are A ‘Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing’, According To Activists – https://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-news/plug-in-hybrids-are-a-wolf-in-sheeps-clothing-according-to-activists/